Learn How to Draw a Cartoon Face

Sketch Cartoons of Your Friends, Family and Even Yourself!

Portrait drawing can often be a very serious business, but sometimes it’s fun to branch out and try a new style. With Drawing Cartoon Faces by Harry Hamernik you can easily learn how to draw a cartoon of yourself or your friends and family, plus any of your favorite characters or celebrities!

how to draw a cartoon of yourself and everyone you know!

The art of cartoon and caricature is often about exaggeration. Once you find the basic shapes and foundation pieces of the face, you can tweak them to make them more cartoon-y. Practice drawing different face shapes and fitting the features into the shape you created.

Vary the Shape but Maintain the Centerline

You can move most of the construction lines around, but don’t mess too much with the centerline. It’s an important anchor for the rest of the structure.

How to draw a cartoon: Cartoon-Face-Shapes

How to draw a cartoon: Cartoon-Face-Shapes-2

Explore the Variations

When you add features to the face, things start to get interesting. As you vary the shape of the head, you will be naturally inspired to vary the other features on the face.

Got the basics? Try out this easy step-by-step demo to learn how to draw a cartoon face.

How to draw a cartoon: Cartoon-Face-Model

Find a picture of a model you want to reference for creating these cartoon features. Take a selfie, find a friend or look for free reference photos online.

How to draw a cartoon: Cartoon-Face-Step-1

Step 1: Draw the Structure

Draw the profile line of the face. Begin at the eyebrow, then draw the cheek, jaw and chin. Vary the line width for interest. Thicker lines attract attention.

How to draw a cartoon: Cartoon-Face-Step-2

Step 2: Add Hair

Add the hairline around the face. Then add the silhouette shape of the hair. Use a “V” shape to indicate a part in the hair–the deeper the “V,” the puffier the hair will appear. You can break the two lines up by using decorative strokes, but they should appear to create a shape of hair.

How to draw a cartoon: Cartoon-Face-Step-3

Step 3: Start Adding Features

Draw the eyes. These are the windows to the soul. Draw them carefully; if you miss the mark here, you are heading into troubled water. Draw the far eyebrow first, then the near one. Continue with the far eye, then the near one. Add the glasses.

How to draw a cartoon: Cartoon-Face-Step-4

Step 4: Add More Features

Draw the nose. Start at the bridge by the eyebrow and work your way down to the tip of the nose. Add the near nostril, then the far one if you can see it. Add any decorative strokes that will help define the nose.

How to draw a cartoon: Cartoon-Face-Step-5

Step 5: Finish and Refine the Features

Draw the mouth area. There is no opening in this model’s expressive grin, so you will simply draw the top lip, then the bottom one. Don’t forget the smile lines.

How to draw a cartoon: Cartoon-Face-Step-6

Step 6: Add the Neck

Complete the sketch by first drawing the neck and collar. Go to the top of the sketch and work your way down adding decorative strokes. Look for anything you may have skipped: freckles, earrings, strokes in the hair, glasses and so on.

How to draw a cartoon final art

Add some color to bring out the personality of your cartoon and you’re all done.


Drawing Heads and Faces — More to Know!

Discover all the aspects of drawing the face that you can put to use in your next sketch or drawing!


Now you are ready for what comes next!

Drawing cartoons is a great way to learn the features of the face, but if you want to create realistic, believable portraits start with:

A Beginner’s Guide to Drawing Facial Features

Drawing Hair with Graphite and Colored Pencil

Plus! 11 Artists on the Sketchbooks and Materials That Keep Them Creative

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